Perfusion Assessment in Critical Limb Ischemia: Principles for Understanding and the Development of Evidence and Evaluation of Devices: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association

Sanjay Misra, Mehdi H. Shishehbor, Edwin A. Takahashi, Herbert D. Aronow, Luke P. Brewster, Matthew C. Bunte, Esther S.H. Kim, Jonathan R. Lindner, Kathleen Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Scopus citations


There are >12 million patients with peripheral artery disease in the United States. The most severe form of peripheral artery disease is critical limb ischemia (CLI). The diagnosis and management of CLI is often challenging. Ethnic differences in comorbidities and presentation of CLI exist. Compared with white patients, black and Hispanic patients have higher prevalence rates of diabetes mellitus and chronic renal disease and are more likely to present with gangrene, whereas white patients are more likely to present with ulcers and rest pain. A thorough evaluation of limb perfusion is important in the diagnosis of CLI because it can not only enable timely diagnosis but also reduce unnecessary invasive procedures in patients with adequate blood flow or among those with other causes for ulcers, including venous, neuropathic, or pressure changes. This scientific statement discusses the current tests and technologies for noninvasive assessment of limb perfusion, including the ankle-brachial index, toe-brachial index, and other perfusion technologies. In addition, limitations of the current technologies along with opportunities for improvement, research, and reducing disparities in health care for patients with CLI are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E657-E672
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 17 2019



  • AHA Scientific Statements
  • ischemia, lower extremity
  • perfusion imaging
  • peripheral arterial disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this